Emerson Island Second Life
The project got started when Helen Thorington and Jo-Anne Green of Turbulence.org, Eric Gordon, David Bogen, Brooke Knight, and I were discussing the topic of the 2007 Floating Points lecture series. We determined that the most pressing topic was participatory social networking software like Wikipedia, Myspace, Youtube, Facebook and others. We decided that it would not make sense to have a traditional lecture in Emerson College's Bordy theatre. Instead we decided that we should develop a way to mix the series into the fabric of the social Internet. This is when we first started looking at Second Life. We decide that the best way to do this would be to build a replica of the Bordy theatre in SL and that proposal became the proposal to build the entire campus.
Emerson Island will be a strictly academic project. This means that it will be devoted to research, creative projects and experimental teaching and learning. There will be no marketing or administrative mission. We hope that we will create a venue where faculty and students can come together to invent and innovate in a robust participatory, social network. We intend to build a replica of the Tremont and Boylston corner including the Boston Common and the Boylston subway stop. Activities will be associate with specific buildings; the Bordy building for live events and an archive of past events; possibly a classroom at the Ansin building; some wiki style library at the Walker Building; a gallery space; screening room, a sandbox for experiments on the Common. The Subway will provide teleport and web links to related projects and institutions from throughout Boston and beyond.
Charles Wesley Emerson was the founder and first president of Emerson College. He served as president from 1880 until 1903. We have modeled the Emerson Island administrator avatar after him.
The Boylston T stop looking across Tremont Street towards the Ansin Building. The subway provides access to other boston area Second Life projects.
The Tremont Street and Boylston Street corner. Much of the work on Emerson Island was done by former graduate student Even Leek under the direction of John Craig Freeman and Eric Gordon.
Looking north up Tremont Street with the Majestic Theatre to the left and the Bordy Theatre entrance to the right. The Bordy was the first building on the Island and was built by Erin O'Brian.
For Floating Points and other events, we set up a live web-cam and stream the presentations from the real world event into a Bordy Theatre space in second life where both audiences are able to interact with the presenters and each other.
Eric Gordon and Evan Leek teaching the HUB2 class in Emerson Island's sand box.